My Year-End Picks for 2011…Sort Of

This being the end of the year, and the fact that this is a music-oriented blog where I’ve been keeping up (or trying to keep up with) the artists and relevant releases, I have to confess that I don’t really have the extensive lists that people have been posting on their respective pages. BUT I do like these a lot, and having listened to them all the way through as one should (I listen a few times before I write about them), I can safely say they are worthy of inclusion for any kind of year-end best releases list.

A big reason for the short list is simply because I’m unemployed and don’t have the money to purchase CDs like I used to. There have been a few opportunities to hear some great recordings that I will definitely list on here as my favorites for the year, but it just won’t be a Top 50 or Top 25.

And even though it’s comprised mostly of classical/new music, I’ve decided the addition of Mark Mandeville and This Frontier Needs Heroes (both being indie folk recordings) is not so crazy given that lots of people have hip-hop and rock on their lists with the classical releases. Continue reading

Vicky Chow

Vicky Chow, a pianist who is well known as a member of the Bang On a Can All-Stars, is another great example of the hard-working, highly active new music community laden with creative artists and composers. Along with the All-Stars, Vicky has also been performing solo concerts regularly featuring the works of various modern and living composers, is one of the founding members of a Bang On a Can offshoot–the trio Typical Music, and is also the curator of a series of new music concerts held at the Gershwin Hotel called Contagious Sounds (which, by the way, she also participates in). In the coming year, Vicky will be releasing 2 new CDs: the new Bang On a Can All-Stars double CD to be released in February, and her second solo CD. She had a small break in her activities to chat with me about her work and her career. Continue reading